Department News (2-19-14)

At the local American Advertising Awards Gala (formerly known as the Addy’s), held in early February, BYU students won 10 awards.  At least two media arts students also participated.  The complete list of awards will be available online in about a week.  The “Students Best in Show” went to “WD-40 TV,”  which can be seen here. Credits include Nick Dixon, Director/Producer;Brandon Robinson, CW/Producer; Brian Shaw, CW/Producer; James Taylor, CW/Producer.  Another commercial, “Lucozade – Refuel Your Drive TV,” was given a gold award.  Credits include Lorne Sleem, CD; Kenneth Merrill, Director; Curtis Jenkins, CW; David Stauffer, Videographer; and Tess Kelly, Producer.


Al Fox Carraway (the tattooed Mormon!) will receive the 2014 Donald C. Sloan Community Speaker Award at the April 15 showcase. Stephanie Freeman, who helps administrate the TMA 150 program, talked with Al on Thursday and updated the Public Speaking website the same day to reflect her acceptance and then shared the link with her. She then tweeted it to the world!  Al (Fox) Carraway ‏@22AlFox Feb 11. Scott Church, one of the TMA 150 instructors emailed and said, “It’s good to see national publicity for the Sloan Speech Showcase!” the following article was posted in the Deseret News: How neat is this? Super #humbled!
Click here to read more. 


This past week, 29 theatre students and 9 theatre faculty and staff attended the Region VIII Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) which took place in Los Angeles.  The faculty and staff who attended were Stephanie Breinholt, Mary Farahnakian, Barta Heiner, Wade Hollingshaus, David Morgan, George Nelson, Jennifer Reed, Janine Sobeck, and Rodger Sorensen.  Mary Farahnakian gave a presentation about Persian theatre at the festival. Wade Hollingshaus is the Chair of the Region’s National Playwriting Program.  He oversees all the new play activities and events at the festival.  Stephanie Breinholt serves as the vice-chair in Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship events.  Rodger Sorensen serves as a facilitator/teacher with the respondents’ workshop.  Students who attended the festival were as follows.

  • Irene Ryan competitors included Ali Kinkade, Sam Bostwick, Kassandra Allen, Cameron Asay, Lindsay Clark, Amy Castro, Mackenzie Larsen, Jordan Nicholes, Emma Widtfeldt, Jacob Swain, Michael Comp, Kimberly Olson Bunker, and Ted Bushman.
  • Semi-finalists and their partners were: Cameron Asay (Carson Wright), Kim Bunker (Cameron Smith), Lindsay Clark (Gabe Spencer), Kassandra Haddock-Allen (Cameron Smith), Ali Kinkade (Ben isaacs), and Jacob Swain (Mallory Gee)
  • All the cast and several crew members from the Microburst Theatre Festival, which performed during the festival.
  • Designers:  Ashley Cook, Joshua Fawcett, Michelle Ohumukini, Christina Phillips, and Graham Whipple
  • Dramaturgs:  Chauntel Cromarty, Bianca Dillard, Tara Haas, Chelsea Hickman, Amanda Nelson, and Amanda Welch

Several BYU students and faculty received top honors:  Amanda Nelson’s play, “Goodnight Graham,” was a regional semi-finalist for the 10-min. play competition.  Wade Hollinghaus received an Excellence in Theatre Education Award. Ashley Cook received the top design award in the region for her costume designs for Light in the PiazzaJacob Swain was one of the two Irene Ryan finalists to advance to the national competition in April in Washington DC.  (The other winner was a student from our sister school, UVU!) This is the second year in a row that someone from BYU advanced to the national level of competition.  Congratulations to all for their excellent work!


At the LDS Film Festival which took place the last week in January, a media arts student capstone project, “Dirt,” directed by Matt Whitaker, received 1ST PLACE AND $1,000 as well as the Audience Choice Award.  One of our alums, Alisa Anglesey also received an Audience Choice Award for her short film, “Listen.”  Another alum, Lyvia Martinez received an honorable mention for her short, “The Favorite.”


Kevin Rahm, who graduated from the BFA Acting program and stars in AMC’s Mad Men, recently gave a shout out to our own Barta Heiner in an interview he gave for Access Hollywood.  An excerpt follows.  Access: I read an interview you did where you said you decided to change from studying law to acting because you wanted to be on ‘LA Law.’ Have you talked about that with Harry Hamlin yet?

Kevin: Yes, and actually, in a smaller world — get this — my professor of acting, the one [who] had the biggest effect on me through college, her name is Barta Heiner, she teaches at Brigham Young University, she was in grad school with Harry Hamlin and would tell us stories about Harry Hamlin. … She would talk about how great of an actor he was and how he was great at everything, but she would also say he was very good looking and he was in the right place at the right time… but he worked really hard and she would always emphasize that for us. He was like the example who had been where we were at the time and who then made it. Click here to read more.




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